US 7444391 B2
A data terminal, a data distributing system, and an Internet telephoning system are provided where desired data such as advertisements can selectively be determined and used for enjoying its relevant services. The data terminal receives a summary of service data from a data provider apparatus over the Internet, and if desired, demands the data provider apparatus to provide the service data over the Internet. The service data from the data provider apparatus may selectively be received in at least one of an audio form, a text form, and a video form at the data terminal. The service data may be advertisement data, commercial product data, and entertainment data such as music, movies, and games. The entertainment data may selectively be presented as at least one of the title, the artist name, the cost, and a trial sample piece of the content.
1. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system comprising:
an Internet-accessible telephone; and
an Internet telephone registration center inquiring information for registering the Internet-accessible telephone in responsive to a call from the Internet-accessible telephone, wherein the Internet-accessible telephone comprises:
Internet-accessible-telephone-registration-starting means for automatically calling the Internet telephone registration center for registration; and
a memory receiving and storing a user identification number, a password number, and a telephone number of an optimum gateway to the user from the Internet telephone registration center when the information has been input.
2. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
3. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the memory stores the identification number for the Internet-accessible telephone;
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone transmits an identification number of the Internet-accessible telephone to the Internet telephone registration center for registration, and
wherein the Internet telephone registration center provides the user of the Internet-accessible telephone with a service.
4. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
5. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a display and a key for setting the information, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone is operable to encrypt and transmitting the information in one of a Dial Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) signal form and a modem signal form to the Internet telephone registration center for registration.
6. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone, when a receiver telephone number is input, calls the gateway
wherein the gateway sends an input-inquiry signal to the Internet-accessible telephone, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone automatically transmits the user identification number, the password number, and the receiver telephone number to the gateway in response to the input-inquiry signal.
7. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
8. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
9. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the gateway transmits a data of a call-rate to the Internet-accessible telephone every specified period of time in a no-sound period during being connected with the Internet-accessible telephone, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a display for displaying the data of the call-rate.
10. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the gateway transmits a data of a call-rate to the Internet-accessible telephone in a no-sound period when the call-rate is changed during being connected with the Internet-accessible telephone, and
the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a display for displaying the data of the call-rate.
11. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a busy-tone detector for detecting that the gateway is busy, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone disconnects the gateway and automatically connects to a public telephone network when the gateway is busy.
12. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a busy-tone detector for detecting that the gateway is busy, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone disconnects the gateway and automatically connects to an alternative gateway when the gateway is busy.
13. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone further comprises a busy-tone detector for detecting that a receiver is busy, and
wherein the Internet-accessible telephone automatically calls the receiver over a public telephone network in a case that the receiver is the same as a last receiver and has been busy before a specific period of time.
14. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
15. An Internet-accessible telephone registering system according to
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/742,872, filed Dec. 21, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,769,020.
The present invention relates to a data terminal and a data distribution system for receiving and transmitting data over a communication network. The present invention also relates to an Internet telephone registration system for communicating with remote terminals at lower charge over the Internet.
In a traditional public telephone network for connecting between telephones, voice signals are exchanged. Other audio data than the voice signals are now distributed over the traditional public telephone network, such as the Dial Q2 Service of Nippon Telephone Telegram, where a variety of commercial data audio signals are released from multiple providers via the switches of the network to the users. The service includes the network service carriers, instead of its providers, charging the fee of the commercial data and receiving it to the user who receives the commercial data. For transmitting the commercial data, the network service carrier has a data audio signal providing apparatus for delivering the audio data signal over the network to the user who selectively calls desired one of the Dial Q2 Service telephone numbers.
Recently, the commercial audio data can be received from the Internet where data is exchanged between computers. More specifically, thanks to the advanced CODEC technology and the perpetual development of the Internet as well as opening to every participant for the global communication over network-Internet-network systems and international network-dedicated network-network systems, a number of international telephone systems over the Internet are available these days.
However, such schemes for exchanging a variety of service data over the conventional communication network such as a public telephone network have been hardly provided. In a television broadcast system, an advertisement for requesting to visit a home page(HP) can be transferred only in one way to many unspecified users and cannot be involved to point-to-point communications.
In other words, the conventional advertisement distribution system delivers advertising items to many unspecified individuals and may thus force the user to receive the data.
The procedure of calling on the system shown in
However, the Internet telephone system shown in
Also, in such a gateway-type Internet telephone system, the connection between the telephone of the caller or user and the Internet gateway is always turned on and charging to the caller even if the receiver side telephone is busy. In case that the receiver side telephone is busy throughout relatively a long period of time, the charge for the communication will be less expensive over the conventional public telephone network than the Internet telephone service.
An object of the present invention is to provide a data terminal and a data distributing system where particular data is selectively determined and used for receiving the desired service, and more specifically, the particular data is received from the outside.
The data terminal is arranged for, under the condition that it is connected to at least one data provider apparatus and at least one communication network, receiving and reproducing or storing a service data from the data provider apparatus over the communication network. The data terminal transmits a response to the service data to the data provider apparatus to selectively address desired information, and receiver can thus enjoy the service attributed to the information. Also, the data terminal may includes an input device for receiving the information and an interface for delivering the information. The data distributing system according to the present invention incorporates the data terminals.
More specifically, the user identification number, the password number, and the telephone number of an optimum available gateway are transmitted in a Dial Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) signal or a modem signal from a registration center and then automatically stored in the telephone. When the telephone starts a call over the Internet, it systematically dispatches those service data.
If the assigned gateway is busy, the telephone may automatically be connected to either an alternative gateway or the conventional public telephone network. Consequently, any undesired charge for connecting to the busy gateway will be eliminated.
The present invention will be described in more detail in the form of a data communication system connected over the Internet as an Internet-protocol-aided communication network.
Data terminal A 101 may be a telephone, a facsimile, a TV telephone, a personal computer, or the like. The communication network may be the Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN), the international public telephone network, a cable modem network, the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modem network, or any intranet connected in a single company or organization. Data terminal A 101 is connected via the communication network to the Internet. Internet 103 may be an open wide area network or an intranet connected in a single company or organization which provides the Internet Protocol (IP) layers over the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI). The communication level is not limited to the physical layer, can be the data link layer or the network layer.
Data terminal A 101 receives a service data from data provider apparatus 104 via Internet 103. Terminal A 101, if desired, demands data provider apparatus 104 for transmitting a service data over Internet 103. Upon receiving a demand from terminal A 101, data provider apparatus 104 selects and transmits at least one of audio signal, data signal, and video signal as the service data. The service data may be advertisement data, products data such as commodities, or entertainment data including music, movies, and games. The entertainment data may be at least one of a title, an artist name, price, and a trial piece of content.
The service data of data provider apparatus 104 is received by data terminal A 101. Terminal A 101, if desired, notifies data provider apparatus 104 with a demand for transmitting a service data. Upon receiving the demand, data provider apparatus 104 examines whether the demanded service data is available, and if so, transmits the service data to terminal A 101. When the demanded service data, for example, the delivery of a household product, cannot be transmitted over Internet 103, the demand is transferred to a delivery system which in turn delivers the product.
When the selected data is an audio signal, an FM wave of it is transmitted from data terminal 1, received by FM receiver 12, and transferred as sounds via headphone 13 to the user. When the selected data consists of texts and images, it is displayed on display 11 for a specific duration as updated in a sequence predetermined by its display control command. When texts, images, and sounds are contained in the selected data, they are displayed and played-back with synchronized one the other. If the indexing is not necessary, the data can directly be displayed or played back in a specific sequence recorded in the memory card. Also, fast forward switch 7 and reverse switch 9 permit the user to search its desired data in both the forward and reverse directions.
The example shown in
When the selected data consists of two or more of text, image, and sound data, it is stored in the memory card one attribute after another together with a timing control signal for synchronizing the display of texts and images with their sounds. As the timing control signal for the playback action is initiated, the video data of texts and images and the audio data are played back in synchronization.
The audio data read out from memory card 3 by the readout means is converted to a digital pre-compressed form, i.e., a retrieved data by digital signal processor 16, converted to an analog form by D/A converter 17, modified to an FM signal by FM modulator 18, and finally transmitted from transmitter 19. The FM signal is received by receiver 26, reconstructed to an analog audio signal by FM demodulator 27, and released as sounds from headphone 28 through audio amplifier 28. Headphone 28 forms sound-reproduction means. Power source 29 in data terminal 1 is a battery.
Similarly, the video data such as texts and images in a compressed form is read out from memory card 3, reconstructed by video demodulator 22, and displayed in the form of texts and images on display 11 by LCD controller 23. The playback means is constructed by digital signal processor 16, D/A converter 17, FM modulator 18, transmitter 19, receiver 26, FM demodulator 27, audio amplifier 28, video demodulator 22, and LCD controller 23.
System controller 21 performs a timer function and interruption action and controls reading data from memory card 3, a keyboard and a display, and each circuit in response to a relevant command. By the timer function, the user is notified that a setting time comes. That can be notified by stopping the playback, an alarm sound from headphone 13, actuating a vibrator (not shown) such as a piezoelectric device, or displaying on display 11. This allows the user to remain punctual at the setting time while no one knows.
The retrieving means for memory card 3 is also implemented by system controller 21. Operation unit 25 comprises eject switch 4, sound volume switch 5, stop switch 6, fast forward switch 7, playback and display switch 8, reverse switch 9, and data selecting switch 10. For inputting a retrieving data to system controller 21, data selecting switch 10 on operation unit 25 is selectively operated by the user. For the inputting, the action can start by operating another switch or by selecting from a set of keys displayed on display 11.
When the recording medium of Embodiment 1 is memory card 3 which has non-moving mechanisms, it may be improved in the size, the weight, and the resistance to impact. This minimizes the power consumption of the data terminal. Accordingly, with the data terminal of a battery-driven type, the user enjoys the service longer in the service period than any conventional data terminal and less troublesome for recharging.
The recording medium of Embodiment 1 may be a detachable type hard disk drive provides the same effects although it has a little less advantages in the resistance to impact or the power consumption than memory card 3.
Headphone 13 in Embodiment 1 is a cordless type and may be linked by a cable to the data terminal.
Data terminal 1 of Embodiment 1 is not limited to storing the service data in the recording medium such as a semiconductor memory but may directly play back the service data. For further minimizing the overall size and the price of the data terminal, the memory may be installed in another data terminal. The data terminal may be a personal computer or a like device. The detachable memory may be replaced by a built-in memory.
The operation is similar to that of Embodiment 1 shown in
Display 611 of Embodiment 2 may be a liquid crystal display or any other visual displaying means. The data terminal may also be a monitor or CRT of a television receiver or a personal computer.
The action of data terminal 201 will now be explained. As data terminal 201 is accessed via the Internet from another data terminal, it prepares video and audio data through input device 202 and receives corresponding data via controller 204 and interface 205 from other data terminals. If more detailed data is requested, its relevant command for pertinent upward, downward, leftward, and rightward panning actions or zooming actions is received from the Internet by interface 205. Controller 204 examines the command and drives moving device 203 to perform the action according to the command. Accordingly, moving device 203 is actuated to collect desired video and audio data transmitted to the Internet. Moving device 203 of data terminal 201 may be omitted depending on the requirement. While the data terminal of Embodiment 4 is linked to the outside for receiving data, it may be adapted for monitoring local circumstances such as the inside and outside of a home.
The action of data terminal 201 will now be explained. As data terminal 201 is accessed via the Internet from another data terminal, it prepares video and audio data through input device 202 and receives corresponding data via controller 204 and interface 205 from other data terminals and transfers it to output device 206. Controller 204 may deliver the data when the input data received from input device 201 is varied, a predetermined period of time has passed, or a demand for the data is received from the Internet. At least one of input device 202 and output device 206 may be omitted depending on the requirement. Moving device 203 described in Embodiment 4 shown in
The data terminals according to Embodiments 1 through 5 may be provided with a security function for exchanging private data. For example, when finding that a key received via the Internet from a second data terminal matches its authorized master key, the data terminal transmits demanded data via the Internet to the second data terminal.
Accordingly, as the connection charge to a service line and an advertisement fee are favorably monitored, they can be shared by the user and the data provider.
When the data terminal according to any of Embodiments 1 through 5 is used for monitoring the inside and output of a home, it can release an alarm upon detecting an abnormal event.
For communicating with another digital communication protocol terminal B 1012 or public telephone terminal 1013, terminal B 1012 is connected via line exchange network 1004 and inter-network link apparatus B 1007 or directly via a dedicated line to IP communication network 1003. Exchange controller 1002 drives identifying means 1021 to identify the user and then examines a network address to find the receiver. When the receiver is telephone terminal 1013, controller 1004 calls to telephone terminal 1013 via inter-network link apparatus 1008 for telephone terminals and line exchange network 1004.
Service data provider 1001 provides a variety of service data to IP terminals over the IP communication network. Exchange controller 1002 thus includes service data controlling means 1020 for controlling to transfer the service data from provider 1001 to users. This allows digital communication protocol terminal B 1012 to receive a desired service data while making a call or being connected to another terminal B 1012 or public telephone terminal 1013. For example, when line exchange network 1004 is an analog exchange network to receive a desired service data when calling, it provides the service data over DTMF tones upon identifying the identification number of the caller and the telephone number of a receiver.
Digital communication protocol terminal B 1012 may be IP-connected in multiple modes. For example, terminal 1012 is an IP-connected equipment of either wireless or wired type such as IP based television/telephone terminal or an indirectly IP-connected telephone terminal such as a set-box. Line exchange network 1004 may be Integrated Services digital Network (ISDN), an international public telephone network, a cable modem network, a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modem network, or an intranet connected in a single company or organization. Digital communication protocol terminals B 1012 are linked to IP communication network 1003. They may be linked directly by a dedicated line or inter-network link apparatus B 1007 between line exchange network 1004 and IP communication network 1003. IP communication network 1003 may be an open wide area network or an intranet connected in a single company or organization as long as provides an Internet Protocol (IP) layer over the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. The communication level is not limited to the physical layer, can be the data link layer or the network layer.
The service data provided by Service data provider 1001 is presented based on demanded by a user. The service data may be a home page (HP) data commonly connected over IP, image data, music data, text data, or accessible forms of advertisement data. The forms of service data may be determined when the user contracts with the ISP or a provider who administrates Exchange controller 1002 or when the initial process for communications is commenced for requiring relevant data such as the identification number or the receiver telephone number. The users nay be inquired of their interests and likes in a questionnaire form before selecting the contents of advertisement or news to be provided. Also, it can be determined whether the service data is provided to the user or not at the time. It may be arbitrarily determined when the contents of the service data or a yes or no for providing the service data is determined.
As shown in
As the system shown in
Public data terminal 1010 has no IP model and is linked to line exchange network 1004 by a public line exchange network interface such as that in the public telephone. Inter-network link apparatus 1005 for public telephone network terminal like public data terminal 1010 is connected by the exchange network interface to exchange network 1004 and at the other end to IP communication network 1003. Link apparatus 1005 includes a modulator/demodulator on its exchange network 1004 side for connecting the digital service data over analog audio bands with public data terminals 1010. Data terminal 1010 also includes a modulator/demodulator for modulating and demodulating data to be exchanged with inter-network link apparatus 1005. The modulator/demodulator in link apparatus 1005 and data terminal 1010 may be replaced by a combination of DTMF tone generator means and DTMF tone detector for communicating over audio bands of data. This allows public data terminals 1010 like digital communication protocol terminals A 1011 to enjoy the merits of both voice communications and data service connection over the data communication system as well as their relevant payment information. Moreover, as inter-network link apparatus 1005 is connected with dedicated service data storage apparatus 1009, it can provide local service data which pleases both the advertisers and the users.
(a) Types of the data terminals including digital communication protocol terminal B 1012, digital communication protocol terminal A 1011, and public data terminal 1010;
(b) Forms of the service data to be received by the users at their respective data terminals; and
(c) Other data attributed to the data terminals including the quantity of data to be displayed at once and, when LCD is employed for displaying, the color or monochrome mode of the display.
Consequently, the service data can be supplied to each data terminal in its optimum form.
As shown in
The service data received from exchange network 1004 is displayed on LCD 1102.
(a) line exchange network interface 1202 for connecting with line exchange network 1207:
(b) modulator/demodulator unit 1203 linked to line exchange network 1207 and including a modulator for transmitting digital data in an analog audio signal band and a demodulator for demodulating received analog audio signal to digital data;
(c) Internet Protocol (IP) unit 1204 for connecting with Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), which is called dial-up to carry out Internet packet communication, when the digital data is based on IP;
(d) user interface 1206 having interface devices, such as audio data input and output devices, e.g. a microphone and loudspeakers, an LCD, button-switches and a keyboard, for interfacing with the user of data terminal 1201; and
(e) controller 1205 for controlling: (1) the calling and the transmission/reception of audio data via line exchange network interface 1202; (2) the digital data received/transmitted via modulator/demodulator unit 1203 and IP unit 1204; (3) the display of data via user interface 1206; (4) the transmission of keyboard-input data; and (5) the input and output of voice.
(a) line exchange network interface 1302 for connecting with circuit switching network 1306;
(b) modulator/demodulator unit 1303 linked to line exchange network 1306 and including a modulator for transmitting digital data in an analog audio signal band and a demodulator for demodulating received analog audio signal to digital data;
(c) user interface 1305 having interface devices, such as audio data input and output devices, e.g. a microphone and loudspeakers, an LCD, button-switches and a keyboard, for interfacing with the user of data terminal 1301; and
(d) controller 1304 for controlling: (1) the calling and the transmission/reception of audio data via line exchange network interface 1302; (2) the digital data received/transmitted via modulator/demodulator unit 1303; (3) the display of data via user interface 1305; (4) the transmission of keyboard-input data; and (5) the input and output of voice.
Data terminal 1301 may further comprise a DTMF tone generator/detector unit for generating and detecting a DTMF tone. In that case, modulator/demodulator unit 1303 may be eliminated.
The action of the data terminal according to any of Embodiments 6 through 9 while showing the above images will now be explained. It is assumed that the data terminal shown in
After the relevant initial data are exchanged between link apparatus A 1006 and data terminal A 1011, exchange controller 1002 determines the inter-network link apparatus for communicating with the receiver allowing IP packet communications between two inter-network link apparatuses. The inter-network link apparatus for communicating with the receiver transfers a call via the line exchange network to the data terminal at the receiver. During the initial process, service data storage apparatus 1009 delivers advertisement data via inter-network link apparatus A 1006 to data terminal A 1011 in which controller 1205 controls user interface 1206 to display the advertisement data on LCD 1102 as shown in
While the above action is just an example, the connection between digital communication protocol terminal A 1011 and inter-network link apparatus A 1106 or the procedure of the guidance may be modified if desired. Also, the display image of an advertisement data or a service data may be varied depending on the applications.
While the service data is displayed on LCD 1102 in Embodiment 10, it may be notified with a color LED, sounds, vibrations, or the like.
The present invention is not limited to the data terminals of the foregoing embodiments. The type and the number of physical layers such as circuit interface are not limited, either. The procedure from starting a call to displaying an advertisement is described in this embodiment, but a communication procedure is not limited to the above procedure. Received service data may be utilized in the form of texts or images depending on the type of the data terminal.
(a) Internet-accessible telephone 1501;
(b) Internet-telephone-registration-starting means 2002 operable with dedicated push-button switches or menu display;
(c) handset 2003;
(d) microcomputer 2004 for controlling the action of the entire system;
(e) dialing circuit 2005;
(f) telephone network 2006;
(g) Internet telephone registration center 2007;
(h) data receiving circuit 2008 for receiving DTMF signals or simple modem signals, such as V.23 signals, for notifying the caller number;
(i) data transmitting circuit 2009;
(j) memory 2010 for saving registration data received from registration center 2007; and
(k) keyboard 2011.
The above procedure of inputting data is just an example and may be modified with more steps or less steps.
When the above initial setting has been completed, messages and data including the user identification number, the password number, and the telephone number of an optimum gateway are downloaded from registration center 2007. More specifically, the data is received by data receiving circuit 2008 and stored in memory 2010. After the data is correctly stored, a download completion signal is transmitted from data transmitting circuit 2009 to registration center 2007. Upon receiving the download completion signal, registration center 2007 releases a message, e.g. “Correctly stored”. Accordingly, telephone 1501 automatically stores the data including the user identification number, the password number, and the telephone number of an optimum gateway. The data is applied for an automatic transmission when telephone 1501 is used as the Internet-accessible telephone. As telephone 1501 is automatically set as Internet-accessible telephone, it can easily be handled by those who are not familiar with the initial setting. Any telephone with no display can equally be initialized for an Internet connection.
Registration center 2007 may upload the identification number regardless of the inquiry for uploading.
When determining that the identification number is valid, and registration center 2007 may discount the communication charge or calculate an incentive margin for the telephone manufacturer.
After the setting is completed, Internet-accessible-telephone-registration-starting means 2002 is actuated with dedicated button switches or a menu screen. Then, microcomputer 2004 controls dialing circuit 2005 to dial the number of registration center 2007 stored in memory 2010 for an automatic call. The call is received via telephone network 2006 by registration center 2007. Then, registration center 2007 release a message for inquiring the uploading in the form of a modem signal or a Dial Tone Multiple Frequency (DTMF) signal. In response, telephone 1801 automatically upload the telephone number, the password number, and the credit card number. During uploading, the credit card number may be encrypted for protecting the number from ripped off. Telephone 1801 then downloads data including the user identification number, the password number, and the telephone number of an optimum gateway from registration center 2007 which has uploaded the data of telephone 1801. After the data is correctly downloaded, telephone 1801 transmits a download completion signal to registration center 2007. As telephone 1801 uploads the data at once within a short period of time, a duration during the line to registration center 2007 is busy can be minimized, and thus, more complex setting data can be transmitted. Also, since a critical portion of the data is encrypted, it is protected from ripped off.
Embodiment 14 is a system where registration center 2007 shown in
The sequential action of Embodiment 14 is not limited to the described sequence. The input of the user identification number and the password number for accessing the gateway may be eliminated if the gateway utilizes a caller number notifying service.
Embodiment 15 is a similar system to that of Embodiment 14.
If the call-rate signal is in a DTMF or modem signal form, it may be mixed up with voice signals and hardly be perceived.
For the above problem, the call-rate signal is then carried in a no-voice period as shown in
The action is denoted by a flowchart shown in
This function also permits the user to receive a new telephone number in the case: (1) that the telephone number of another gateway of which communication charge is lower, (2) that the telephone number of the current gateway is changed, or (3) that the telephone number which is usually called is switched to that of an alternative gateway from that of the current gateway which is always busy. It is also useful for the user to display a weather forecast or advertisement data on the LCD.
Telephone 2901 of Embodiment 19 automatically updates the telephone number of its optimum gateway whenever the telephone network to be connected is changed because of user's moving and so on. And the user can thus always receive the service at the lowest charge.
The foregoing technologies and features of all the embodiments are not limited to be applied to telephone sets but to by any other like appliances including wireless telephones, telephone-equipped facsimiles, browser-aided telephones, and personal computers with Internet telephoning software with the same effect. Also, their functions and arrangements are not limited to those described above.